Board of Education prepares to fill vacancy

Following Board member Scott Hancock's recall, the Board will appoint a new member to finish his term


By Justin Curto

After Board of Education member Scott Hancock was recalled from his position on the Board, director of administrative services and community relations Alvie Cater addressed the Board about filling his vacancy at a Board meeting on Monday, Aug. 24.

Justin Curto, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

The Board of Education will publish a notice in the Kansas City Star in the coming days about seeking to appoint someone to finish Board member Scott Hancock’s term after his recall from the Board.

According to director of administrative services and community relations Alvie Cater, who spoke to the Board at the meeting on Monday, Aug. 24, about filling Hancock’s position, the Board is required to publish a notice before appointing a member and then must wait 15 days before taking any action. After the 15-day period, the Board can decide how it wishes to screen applicants for Hancock’s position.

The Board last had to appoint a member in November 2010, when vice president Dick Dearwester was appointed to finish former Board member Jeanine Gracy’s term after she moved out of the district. Dearwester said he will reference his experiences in this appointment process.

“I must have had eight pages of responses to questions, and I’m going to pull mine out,” Dearwester said. “That may be kind of a guideline for where we go, but this is a completely different Board.”

As the only current Board member to have served during Dearwester’s appointment process, Board member Bill Fletcher remembers the process being sufficient.

“I thought it worked well,” Fletcher said. “We had quite a few candidates, and they all came before us on a Saturday morning, and we asked them questions, and then we made a decision from there.”

Fletcher said Hancock’s successor should be interested in following precedent, but also have new plans for the district.

“[I would appoint] somebody that’s very interested in continuing the district policies in education, and maybe with fresh ideas that can help us,” Fletcher said.

Throughout the appointment process, Dearwester said he would look potential Board members’ character and their willingness to work with others.

“First of all, [we need] a person of integrity,” Dearwester said. “[Someone capable of] recognizing that position as a Board member is not a silo position, that it’s all about one person. It’s seven of us. And it takes four of us to be in harmony, or disharmony, to vote something down or vote something forward.”

As the Board works toward appointing a new member, Dearwester said it should improve upon its previous appointment process instead of using a new one.

“It worked once,” Dearwester said. “Why recreate the wheel when the wheel served its purpose? Let’s take a look at it and just build off of the pluses from that.”

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